October 18, 2018

Beware the Neonicotinoids

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This is the real world, muchachos, and you are in it. –B. Traven

Everyone knows by now that to survive in a certain small town, one needs either five homes or five jobs, they know that Mercury is always in retrograde and they realize that pollen production is such that citizens are seen dashing into their homes seeking heavy medication.

Paradoxically and ironically, the cause of it all—the juniper—like most local politicians, has no redeeming value: it is poor firewood; it is a poor landscape plant; it is a poor source of food for native animals; and it is poor wood for construction.

Still, the visitors arrive like lava flows, ignoring sneezing episodes, drawn by vortex rides, martinis and the meatloaf at Judi’s. Rumors are spreading that tourists think the martinis are too warm. It’s just a guess, but those people will even be disappointed by Grand Canyon Park at the Day of Judgment.

Speaking of irony, in hopes that adventure tourism will bring back boom times, a small group of locals celebrate the nights away with negative attitudes piled as high as the rocks in rim country. Whenever the idea of a new amenity floats like cotton in Spring winds, up jumps someone to stop it. Topping a longer list is the hatred shown about a new parkway from the nearby village to town, lights to help drivers at night, bike lanes, a high school, roundabouts, and a public park.

Insiders say that no more than a handful—say seven—are regular whiners and bitchers; their names are kept in a special Excentric file in the once quiet, friendly town. Mystery fills the air. And these people, women included, pretend to know what they are talking about and regularly mock experts that come before them, though they themselves are often as lazy in their research as a toad at the bottom of Montezuma’s well.

What gives? In a lovely high desert surrounded by heart-breaking scenery, how is it that so much negativity exists? Some believe these men and women of The New West are like conquistadors of old, dedicated to dominating nature for their own gain, pushing aside moderate forces, insisting we are part of nature and any damage done to nature—such as draining the Verde River—will be done to all of us.

Still others are convinced that the growth of negativity is being fertilized by chem trails often seen high in the air above the once small town’s city hall. According to this view, these trails are not only watering the crop circles down the road to another small town, also under siege by tourists from the Philippines, they are composed of chemical or biological agents. But to what end?

A special Excentric World Task Force has found believers who think the purpose of the chemical releaser has several folds: solar radiation management, psychological manipulation, population control, weather control, respiratory illnesses and IQ reducer. Could it have been a mysterious spray of some sort, albeit illegal, that cast a spell on the local city council which caused a majority to vote against its own park project?

An equally vexing question is why more local people in that onetime small town don’t bother to recycle? Is it because everyone goes to a therapist or is the therapist going to a therapist? Does it matter that each American generates 1.31 tons of garbage a year—27 percent of which is recycled, 7.7 percent incinerated and 66 percent buried in holes in the ground.

By one estimate, garbage not recycled that ends up in holes—landfills–contain the economic value equal to $20 million a year. So what? If citizens did what the Chinese are doing, and dug up zinc, aluminum and other precious metals and sold them, arts programs and teachers’ salaries would not have to be cut, and cops would not have to be let go.

One wonders how our grandchildren will regard us when they discover that not many people chose to reduce and reuse our resources:

  • Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles an hour.
  • 90% of the cost of bottle of water is the bottle.
  • It takes 17 million barrels of oil to make plastic beverage bottles used in the U.S. annually.
  • Expanded polystyrene products fill up of all landfill space
  • Americans throw out 25 billion expanded polystyrene cups a year, enough to circle 436 times.

So, we see Americans throwing out their future; we see trash haulers advertising that they recycle as their noses grow longer by the haul and dump. Usual fall guys cannot be blamed: industrialists, environmentalists, ranchers, tourists, Republicans, liberals—the villain is closer to home. There’s far too much ignorance among educated people of what we have lost in sacrificing our million year old intimacy with the natural world. Only a radical transformation that revalues the wild earth will save—and that will take leaders beyond the range of chem trails.

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